Bald eagle nests look huge. On average, bald eagles build nest that are four to ten feet in diameter and two to eight feet high. Equally exciting is learning about what I find and sharing it with you. Save my name, email, and site URL in my browser for next time I post a comment. The mission of the U.S. That equates to a 120 pound person carrying a forty pound stick. Fish and Wildlife Service Sometimes, the branch breaks off and sends the nest crashing to the ground. Your email address will not be published. Adult bald eagles are powerful, brown birds that may weigh 14 pounds and have a wingspan of 8 feet. Data gathered during this comment period was factored into a final decision on the status of the species. Unlike most other birds, bald eagles build nests that can break those trees. By 1963, with only 487 nesting pairs of bald eagles remaining, the species was in danger of extinction. Bald eagle nests are generally 4-5 feet wide and 2-4 feet deep, although the nesting pair will add nesting material to the nest every year. West, Suite 990 Although they primarily eat fish and carrion, bald eagles used to be considered marauders that preyed on chickens, lambs, and domestic livestock. Some eagle nests stay small, but some can reach 10 feet across and weigh a thousand pounds! Nests may grow so large that they make a tree top heavy, and will cause the nest or tree to fall over in storms. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. Assuming sufficient appropriated funding, the Service plans to conduct eagle surveys on a 6-year rotation: One set of paired summer–winter golden eagle surveys in the first and second and fourth and fifth years of each assessment period, and to conduct bald eagle surveys in years three and six. The young eagles are flying within three months, but they will continue to use their nest as a "home base" where their parents continue to care for them for an additional 4-6 weeks. Recently, and with increasing frequency, bald eagles are nesting on artificial structures such as power poles and communication towers, and away from large water bodies. Its range includes most of Canada and Alaska, all of the contiguous United States, and northern Mexico. 5600 American Blvd. Sometimes confused with golden eagles, bald eagles are mostly dark brown until they are four to five years old and acquire their characteristic coloring. Learn more about bald and golden eagle identification here. In July 1999, the Service proposed to remove the bald eagle from the list of threatened and endangered species. I found a bald eagle nest along the Kootenai River and wondered how big it was because my sense of estimating size isn’t great. In 2006, the Service re-opened the public comment period due to new information on the proposal to delist. Finally, the female places soft material such as moss and downy feathers inside the cup to lay the eggs upon. The size is based on how much the tree can hold. Bloomington, MN 55437-1458. Most bald eagles can breed at 4 or 5 years of age, but many do not start breeding until much older. In July 1995, the Service announced that bald eagles in the lower 48 states had recovered to the point where those populations previously considered endangered were now considered threatened. An average Eagle’s Nest is five feet wide and three feet deep but the Great Nest measured a huge 12 feet tall, 8 1/2 feet wide and weighed more than a 1925 Ford Model T! Bald eagles have staged a remarkable population rebound and have recovered to the point that they no longer need the protection of the Endangered Species Act. They gradually acquire the adult plumage as they mature, which takes about five years. In contrast, juvenile bald eagles have mottled brown and white plumage. Bald eagles may live 15- 30 years in the wild. The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Bald eagles spend one to three months preparing a nest. Bald eagles build the largest bird nests in North America. The largest Bald Eagle nest on record was in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is found near large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply and old-growth trees for nesting. They also eat waterfowl, shorebirds, colonial waterbirds, small mammals, turtles, and carrion (often along roads or at landfills). Bald eagles may also have one or more alternate nests within their breeding territory. Once believed to posses the longest wingspan of all eagles, current data suggest about the same wingspan as other large… The size of bald eagle nests varies considerably because bald eagles reuse their nest. Their habitat includes estuaries, large lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and some seacoasts. The first major decline of the species probably began in the mid to late 1800’s, coinciding with the decline of waterfowl, shorebirds, and other prey. There is a distinction between the two species, though, even during the early years. Luckily, the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge has a replica of a bald eagle nest so everyone can experience the size. Since then, the Service has reviewed comments received on that proposal along with new data and information to determine the best ways to manage the species once it is removed from the protections of the Endangered Species Act. Constructed stick by stick over a period of 35 years, it was the largest known Eagle’s Nest and perhaps the largest ever constructed by the bird species. All text and images on this site are Copyright Roady Outdoor Photography and may not be used without permission. If the nest enables successful rearing of eaglets, the bald eagle pair will return the next year. The cup is about 20 inches in diameter and four to five inches deep. I'm excited to find the first spring wildflowers, animal tracks in the snow and interesting rocks. Nests may grow so large that they make a tree top heavy, and will cause the nest or tree to fall over in storms. A 1962 amendment added the golden eagle, and the law became the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Only the tops of the bald eagle’s legs have feathers. The bald eagle builds the largest nest of any North American bird, up to 13 feet deep, 8.2 feet wide, … They can carry larger sticks for up to a mile. 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